007 Legends Review
Bin, Bargain Bin.
Fall is a busy time of year for gamers, with so many games being released that it can be really hard to keep up with them all. It’s also the time when developers and publishers release most of their big games, with some turning out to be great and some being major disappointments. Then there are the ones that land somewhere in the middle of the pack and will be waiting for you in the bargain bins at your local video game store over the next few months. 007 Legends is one of those games that will be waiting for you.
Fresh off of the success of last year’s Goldeneye 007 Reloaded, Eurocom are back again with 007 Legends, a mash-up of sections from classic Bond films such as a Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Moonraker, Licence to Kill and Die Another Day. Instead of using the actors who played Bond in those films, Eurocom decided to insert Daniel Craig, the current James Bond, to replace them and tie it all together nicely for the last mission which will feature content from the upcoming Bond movie, Skyfall, as free DLC after the movie is released.
Since the campaign features classic scenes and characters from the old Bond movies, you would think hardcore Bond fans would enjoy the trip back in time but once Daniel Craig shows up (who I do like as Bond in his movies), the experience is ruined. He just doesn’t fit and Eurocom would have been much better off either creating a new Bond story for him or using the actors from the original films. I know the point was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bond and it wouldn’t have helped promote Skyfall if they didn’t use Craig, but it would have made a better game.
After you get past the campaign story issues, you’ll find a pretty straight-forward First-Person Shooter experience with what seems like endless enemies populating the levels like it’s a shooting gallery most of the time, a few cool gadgets thrown in to remind you that Bond was actually a Spy and some repetitive boss fights that play out through Quick Time Events. It’s a pretty standard shooter that works well technically speaking, but looks and feels like it’s a few years old running on an old version of the Call of Duty engine. One small thing that I did like about the campaign is that you can pick if you want to use a classic health system where you have to find health and armor pick-ups or you can play with regenerating health. Not many games offer that kind of choice and it stood out to me as a cool little feature.
Another thing Eurocom did that I really liked was that they added in new challenge and upgrade systems throughout the single player campaign. During the campaign you will earn EXP for completing each level and for completing challenges such as killing enemies with different weapons and while using different training modules and for using your gadgets. So what do you do with all of this EXP you ask? Well, you use it to purchase new upgrades for your weapons and gadgets, and to purchase new training modules, which are used to increase your health, increase your reload speed, make you move quieter, and other upgrades similar to perks you would find in Call of Duty. I love challenges like these and including them in the single player campaign with a decent upgrade system was a great decision.
Once you’re done with the single player campaign, which should take you around 6 hours or so on Normal, the Mi6 missions make their return, with 10 missions to complete. I enjoyed these in 007 Reloaded and they are just as good in 007 Legends, but they are still single player only, which is still my main complaint about them. Considering how much they take from Call of Duty, I’m really surprised that Eurocom didn’t add co-op to the Mi6 missions since they very similar to the Special Ops missions from it, which can be played cooperatively.
007 Legends features a full competitive multiplayer suite, that includes eight maps based on locations from the single player campaign and 12 different game modes including Legends, Golden Gun, Team Conflict, Black Box and Licence To Kill. It’s all wrapped together nicely with a progression system that will have you levelling up as you earn EXP for kills, assists, winning games and for reaching new proficiency levels with different guns. As much as I love that it has a progression system to unlock new weapons, attachments and perks, 007 Legends doesn’t add anything new or unique to it that you haven’t seen before.
The multiplayer is fun, I won’t argue that, but if you own 007 Reloaded or any Call of Duty game from the last 5 years then you already know what to expect from it and it shouldn’t be that 007 Legends will offer much to replace any of them.
007 Legends isn’t a terrible game, but those looking for a new and unique James Bond experience will be disappointed with it. Everything from the engine and gameplay, to the multiplayer features are taken straight out of past Call of Duty games and it will have you feeling like you bought a ticket for a James Bond movie but ended up watching a different movie that you’ve already seen. Trust me, if you’re a huge James Bond fan and you just have to play 007 Legends, you should either rent it or wait until your local bargain bins are over-flowing with it.
Available On: Xbox 360 and PS3